Calvin John Ward

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Calvin John Ward
Calvin J. Ward - WWI Medal of Honor recipient.jpg
Medal of Honor recipient
Born(1899-10-30)October 30, 1899
Greene County, Tennessee
DiedDecember 15, 1967(1967-12-15) (aged 68)
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
RankPrivate First Class
UnitU.S. 117th Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsWorld War I

Calvin John Ward (October 30, 1899–December 15, 1967), was a soldier in the United States Army National Guard who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I.


Calvin John Ward was born on October 30, 1899 in Greene County, Tennessee and lived in Morristown, Tennessee. Ward entered active duty with the United States Army's 117th Regiment from the Tennessee National Guard during World War I. On October 8, 1918 during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Ward's company was stopped near Estrées, France by a German machine gun position. Ward and Sergeant James Ernest Karnes, deciding they had "had all they could take" of this situation, fixed bayonets, charged and captured the position. This freed their company to advance against German lines in the last major offensive of the war. Both men received the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism in this action.

Calvin Ward died on December 15, 1967 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery Sullivan, Tennessee.


Military records from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Portugal attribute the following medals to Calvin John Ward:

Medal of Honor, British Distinguished Conduct Medal 31JAN1919, French Croix de Guerre w/ Palm 13APR1919, French Medaille Militaire 5MAY1919, Montenegran Medaille de Bravoure w/ Palm 25JUN1919, Portuguese Cruz de Gurra 3rd Class 6DEC1921, Italian Croce di Guerra 9DEC1921, Belgian Decoration, Russian Decoration

Medal of Honor Citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company D, 117th Infantry, 30th Division. Place and date: At Estrees, France; October 8, 1918. Entered service at: Morristown, Tennessee. Born: October 30, 1898; Green County, Tennessee. General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 16 (January 22, 1919).


During an advance, Pvt. Ward's company was held up by a machinegun, which was enfilading the line. Accompanied by a noncommissioned officer, he advanced against this post and succeeded in reducing the nest by killing three and capturing seven of the enemy and their guns.

Military Awards[edit]

Ward's military decorations and awards include:

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st row Medal of Honor
2nd row Silver Star Purple Heart w/one bronze oak leaf cluster World War I Victory Medal w/three bronze service stars to denote credit for the Somme Offensive, Ypres-Lys and Defensive Sector battle clasps.
3rd row Distinguished Conduct Medal (Great Britain) Médaille militaire (French Republic) Croix de guerre 1914–1918 w/bronze palm (French Republic)
4th row Croce al Merito di Guerra (Italy) Medal for Military Bravery (Kingdom of Montenegro) Medalha da Cruz de Guerra, Third Class (Portuguese Republic)

See also[edit]


  • "Regimental History & Lineage - 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  • "Greene County Doughboys: Calvin John Ward, Medal of Honor recipient". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  • "East Tennessee Medal of Honor winners" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 29, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2010.

External links[edit]